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3 Ways to Improve Your Supplier Relationship

The buyer-supplier relationship can feel strained at times because so much depends on performance and orders moving smoothly. As a buyer, the development of your product and its assembly are completely dependent on your suppliers. The stronger your communication is with your suppliers, the stronger your relationship will be.

One of the biggest challenges to the buyer-supplier relationship is communication. 

If you’re like most buyers, your procurement team probably uses multiple platforms to communicate with suppliers. These platforms can include email, phone calls, texts, and fax. While your business can function with this system, the margin of error in your purchase order operations is high. Errors can include anything from missed PO acknowledgments to operating with inaccurate PO details. Every hiccup in your PO, AP, or RFQ process puts the buyer-supplier relationship at risk and can lead to late deliveries.

With this in mind, we’ve created a list of 3 ways to improve your supplier relationship and your ability to communicate with them.

1. Invest in a Supplier Collaboration Software

Building a relationship with your supplier may not involve face time, but it should always involve collaboration. Managing purchase orders, accounts payable, and RFQs across multiple platforms makes your supply chain vulnerable. Missing details on POs can have a severe impact on your ability to get deliveries to your customers on time. Collaboration solutions, like SourceDay, seamlessly connect buyers and suppliers in a single platform where all interactions are archived in real-time and available for both parties to see.

Through our solution, both buyers and suppliers can track every part of the PO process and communicate in a single dashboard. Alerts, notifications and even color-coded flags ensure nothing gets missed. Using SourceDay, buyers have experienced a 35% increase in on-time deliveries.

2. Make Your Software Accessible to Suppliers

For effective collaboration between buyers and suppliers, your suppliers have to adopt the same software that you are using. With SourceDay, buyers pay for the license, and their suppliers access the software for free. Suppliers are then able to streamline labor-intensive tasks, quickly acknowledge POs, and ultimately, get paid faster.

Plus, SourceDay provides all the necessary training for buyers and their vendors, making the transition simple.

3. Give Your Suppliers Feedback

Suppliers care about their service and want to know how they’re doing. Effective service leads to loyalty. SourceDay’s Supplier Scorecard solution streamlines grading vendors so you can quickly relay the good and the bad as far as their performance.

With SourceDay’s quality control dashboard, you can easily track the incoming inspection of supplier materials to determine if specifications are met. If the materials fail inspection, suppliers are quickly notified through the platform and the failing materials are then dispositioned. After the issue is resolved, buyers can score the interaction, giving suppliers an incentive to take care of any problems quickly.

Improving your supplier relationship starts with using the right tools. Updating your purchase order process by using software like SourceDay allows you to improve your communication with suppliers and meet more commitments. Learn more about SourceDay’s solution and chat with a member of our team!

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Can Your Company Survive Without Communication?

Communication in the Workplace Blog Image Communication in the Workplace Blog Image

The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a survey in 2018 to try and estimate the negative effects of poor communication in the workplace. Of the respondents, 52% said that poor communication added significant stress to their workday and 44% percent said that a lack of clear communication led to delays or failure to complete projects. Even worse, 18% responded that they lost sales due to ineffective communication.

Even though our communication tools are more advanced than ever, effective internal and external communication is still challenging for many companies. What are the effects of poor communication between your manufacturing organization and your suppliers? And most importantly, how can you overcome them?

Avoid the Pitfalls

Missed Purchase Orders
In the short-term, missed orders mean you may have to pay for expedited shipping or an expedited rush fee to your supplier. After paying for last-minute transportation costs, you’re left with thinner profit margins and stuck spending cash that your business can’t afford to throw away. In the long-term, missed purchase orders can risk damaging your reputation with your customer.

Changes To Purchase Orders
POs are always in flux. Vendors are constantly changing details like quantity, price and due date on purchase orders. Is your ERP data accurate so your company can make adjustments to production schedules? How quickly are you able to capture these changes with your suppliers and update your ERP?

Quality Issues
Real-time communication over quality issues with your suppliers is critical to keeping rejected materials out of your inventory. Supplier quality issues can hurt your organization if customers’ orders are impacted. Knowing a supplier’s quality ratings, timeliness, responsiveness, and price are key data points that can help you when comparing RFQs and choosing a supplier to work with.

Employee Frustration
Frustration has been dubbed the silent killer of productivity. Employees need the proper tools to be productive. When orders are missed, production schedules are thrown off. As a result, management often needs to adjust work schedules and account for periods of decreased productivity while waiting for a missing part. In the long term, these changes can impact your bottom line and lead to an increased turn over rate for your employees.

SourceDay Can Help
Companies have many tools at their disposal to improve communications such as email, fax, text, chat, and internal networks. However, with so many sources of information, details are often overlooked or ignored. The solution is a single unified platform that enables buyer and supplier collaboration through access to real-time data. With SourceDay, you can manage all of your suppliers or buyers with streamlined communication, easy to read data and PO status updates in the form of push notifications. SourceDay provides real-time information critical to a manufacturing company’s survival, including:

  • PO status updates including vendor acknowledgment
  • Past due tracking
  • Alerts for “at-risk” items
  • Shipped item tracking & historical data
  • Supplier scorecard data including reliability, quality rating, price variance & responsiveness

Contact us to learn more about how SourceDay can streamline communication for your business and create collaboration between your buyers and suppliers!

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